I am having lots of fun this summer doing art activities with my new girl friend, Sophie. She is seven years old and has the sweetest personality. She is not very verbal because of her autism but her ways of expressing herself with art are amazing.
The first day Sophie came to my place for her art lesson she was very distracted with all the toys my 2year old has. Her mother told me she has special interest with baby toys and loves to watch youtube videos showing how these toys work, over and over again for hours at her home. I can say that the first day was not very easy. She was very distracted with toys and running around the house. She didn’t listen to me or have any interest with the art projects I prepared. So I just decided to let her run around and started playing with water colors and oil pastel by myself.
I remembered when I first came to the United States when my father passed away. I had to move here to stay with my mother who left our family when I was four. Everything was new and everyone I met was new. I had no friends at school because of my limited English and the only person I can talk to was my mother, but she worked all day. The worst thing was I had nobody to sit with during the lunch period.
I was too embarrassed to sit alone and eat lunch by myself. And if I didn’t eat, my blood sugar would drop because I am Diabetic. Sometimes, I brought a few candies and would eat them on the toilet seat so nobody could see this Asian girl eating candy alone and laugh about it. One day, my art teacher told me that I can come to his advanced art class and paint during my lunch period. I was so glad that I didn’t have to worry about eating candies while hiding from other students. I went to that art class everyday during my lunch period. And I started painting and painting. Art was my only escape and only friend. I painted because there was no other thing I enjoyed like painting and at least while I was painting, I could forget everything.
That’s probably why I asked Sophie to come and do some art with me. The other day, Sophie’s mom told me that Sophie stopped eating lunch and ran to door to put her shoes on when her mother said it was time to go see Misoo. Now Sophie sits with me for almost two hours. We do Print making, Paper dye, drawings, and anything I can find that looks fun. Sophie loves bright colors and mixing paints. When Sophie hugs me to say goodbye at the end of the day, I say good bye to the girl who reminds me of myself.